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Archive for the ‘Taiwanese’ Category

Taro and yam balls weren’t the only food item I’ve grown fond of from our Taiwan trip last fall. There’s also pepper bun 胡椒餅. In fact, my first memory of having pepper buns went all the way back to my family trip to Taipei more than 10 years ago. After all those years I still vividly remembered the piping hot, peppery filling inside the crispy bun — it was so delicious and memorable that I include it as a must-have for everyone visiting Taiwan. And I couldn’t stop telling Mr. about it before and throughout the trip. Taipei was our last stop, so we had to wait till then to get our fill. I told Mr. to wait, but we did succumb to the temptation and get some pepper buns at our other stops, but it was a bad decision because it was nothing like the ones in Taipei.The very night we arrived in Taipei, we immediately went for some pepper buns. We didn’t go to Raohe Night Market 饒河街觀光夜市 as it was reserved for another day, but we went to the brick and mortar storefront of the same vendor at the night market 福州世祖胡椒餅. We waited for the pepper buns fresh out of the clay oven, and boy were they hot. Pretty sure we burned the roof of our mouths when we took our first bite. And it was soooo good! It’s just as good as I remembered. The meat was juicy, peppery, and the crust was crispy and flaky.

When we went to Raohe two days later, I couldn’t help myself but crave for one more pepper bun before we flew home to Vancouver.

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Ever since our Taiwan trip last November, I’ve been thinking about those tasty yam and taro balls from Jiufen. They were bouncy, chewy, and full of yam and taro flavour. You can find them here at Taiwanese restaurants such as Meet Fresh and Sweet Memory, but the texture just wasn’t the same. The ones here tend to be softer and you can’t really taste the root vegetables. Now that we are home all the time, we looked up different recipes to make these taro and yam balls. Turns out it’s not complicated at all and super easy to make. You can adapt it to other root vegetables or even red and mung beans. After a couple of tests and some adjustments, we finally came up with a recipe that worked to our liking.

Here is the recipe to make three flavours of these chewy balls, using purple yam, yam and taro. All three flavours follow the same instructions but the measurement of ingredients varies because of the water content of the root vegetables. In fact, we found that you don’t need to add water to the yam one, but more tapioca flour is needed. You will need to gauge the use of water and tapioca flour as you make the dough.

Ingredients

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Another bubble tea shop opens in Vancouver. Hailed from Taiwan, Baroness is by design a boutique franchise with only 3 locations in Taiwan, 1 in Hong Kong, and now 1 in Vancouver. They are located near Broadway and MacDonald.

Baroness specializes in brown sugar pearls, so when you order pearls, you are guaranteed to get the brown sugar pearls in your drink. The franchise owner created his own recipe of brown sugar and he continues to oversee the production of this secret recipe to ensure quality.

Drinks

I was invited to a tasting of some of its signature drinks. They included:

Brown Sugar Milk (pictured right below) – Obviously I had to try this drink, since I’ve been on the hunt for the best Brown Sugar Milk. The drink was quite tasty. There was a lot of caramel flavour from the brown sugar, without being super sweet. I found the pearls to be softer than others but after talking to the franchisee, they explained that their pearls are typically softer in the first hour, while they are still warm. It worked out because as the drink was being brought to temperature with the ice, the pearls were of just the right texture for me. It had a softer exterior but nice and chewy inside.

Purple Yam Milk (pictured left above) – What a pretty drink! (more…)

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I was invited by ChineseBites to try Tea Wok in downtown. It’s located just steps away from the BCIT downtown campus. It has a big menu, serving many Taiwanese favourites. On Zomato, the rating isn’t very impressive, so I was curious to give it a try.

Food

We tried a number of things and here were some highlights for me:

The Deep Fried Chicken Nuggets is a staple item at all Taiwanese restaurants, so it would be disappointing if it’s not cooked properly. And Tea Wok didn’t disappoint. The batter was thin, and it’s fried to great crispiness. The chicken nuggets were also flavoured nicely. There’s a hint of Thai basil in the chicken.

Deep Fried Chicken Nuggets

I’m a pretty adventurous eater, and pig ear is one of my favourite snack dishes. The Marinated Spicy Pig Ear was pretty good. The pig ear was sliced thinly, with a crunchy texture. It’s garlicky, and spicy.

Marinated Spicy Pig Ear

The Taiwanese Sausage with Fried Rice seems simple, but it’s executed well. (more…)

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Mr. and I were planning a dinner with his friends one weekend, and we’re all craving Asian food. In Richmond. Endless options, I know. We narrowed it down to Taiwanese, and came to Memory Corner just steps away from Richmond Centre.

Food

Between the two of us, we shared a few things. First, the Taiwanese Deep Fried Crispy Chicken 鹽酥雞 is like a staple item for us whenever we go for Taiwanese food. This was a generous portion! It was crispy outside, and the meat was tender, moist inside. The breading was quite thin so it wasn’t all breading that we were eating. The Thai basil on top was not just a garnish; because it’s slightly fried, it actually added some aroma and subtle flavours to the chicken nuggets as well.

Taiwanese Deep Fried Crispy Chicken

LH told us that the Satay Lamb series at Memory Corner is really good. According to its website and signage at the restaurant, this is a 3rd-generation of a family restaurant that specializes in lamb cuisine. We had to order one of those dishes.

The Satay Lamb with Fried Noodles 沙茶羊肉炒麵 was very good!
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